After 4-year-long wait, Mumbai University gets NAAC A++ grade
Four years after the University of Mumbai lost its accreditation from the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC), the university has now received an A++ grade.
NAAC accreditation is a performance indicator for higher educational institutes and is mandatory for applying for funds from Central agencies. The university had been granted a ‘Grade A’ score by NAAC in 2012. However, the score expired in March 2017 after the university failed to apply for re-accreditation in time.
On Tuesday, the university, one of the oldest in the state, announced that it has received an A++ grade and a score of 3.65. This is the first time that any university in the state has been awarded an A++ grade.
“It is a matter of great pride for the University of Mumbai, which is considered as one of the leading universities in the country, to receive the best rating from NAAC with an A++ grade. This is a historic and golden moment in the 164-year career of the university. This university, which has a bright and historic tradition of knowledge and enlightenment, will benefit all the stakeholders, including the university. Special thanks to all the stakeholders involved in this entire process,” said Suhas Pednekar, vice-chancellor, University of Mumbai.
The university managed to outdo its previous performance of grade A despite unprecedented delays in the application process. The University of Mumbai was set to enter a fifth academic year without a NAAC grade as the accreditation process was delayed. Even as the accreditation expired in 2017, the university took a while to complete its application process and put together all the documents.
In December 2019 the varsity had submitted the Institutional Information for Quality Assessment (IIQA) and the same was approved by the apex grading body. The process for submitting the Self Study Report (SSR), however, got delayed as the university was shut for at least six months in 2020 due to the pandemic and eventual lockdown. Thereafter, there was a significant delay in the peer review committee’s visit to Mumbai for a physical visit. The NAAC peer team finally visited the university between August 24 and 26 for assessment.
University pro-vice-chancellor Ravindra Kulkarni told HT that the NAAC accreditation is a stepping stone for the university. “The NAAC grade instils great confidence among all stakeholders of the university including students, their parents, faculty and all involved. Going forward, the A++ grade opens many possibilities for the university. We can now qualify for becoming a tier 1 university under the National Education Policy and can apply for research grants from various central government bodies. It will also open the possibility for applying for an Institute of Eminence tag,” he said.
State higher education minister Uday Samant shared a congratulatory message on the social media platform Twitter. “I thank and congratulate everyone involved in getting the accreditation including the vice-chancellor, varsity officials, senate and council members for this feat,” he wrote.
According to the official website of NAAC, the council conducts assessment and accreditation of Higher Educational Institutions (HEI) such as colleges, universities or other recognised institutions to derive an understanding of the ‘Quality Status’ of the institution. “NAAC evaluates the institutions for its conformance to the standards of quality in terms of its performance related to the educational processes and outcomes, curriculum coverage, teaching-learning processes, faculty, research, infrastructure, learning resources, organisation, governance, financial well-being and student services,” said the website.